One College Snags Students With Free Tuition

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2009 5:35 PM CDT
Students study on a university campus.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – While many schools struggle to entice new students in hard times, one is receiving more applications and higher-caliber resumes. How does Berea College in Kentucky do it? By offering free tuition, Time reports. Founded in 1855, Berea demands that all 1,530 students work 10 hours a week or more at a service or campus job throughout their 4-year term.

Despite the recession, Berrea is on track to enroll 78% of students it accepted—same as last year—with 10% more ranked in its highest, 4-star academic category. Funded 80% by an endowment and the rest with donations, the school did have to lay off 30 workers this week, but education remains free. "It would be a little presumptuous of me to say" enrollment will rise during the recession, an administrator said. "But I wouldn't be surprised."